Volunteers clean up five coastal sites

OCEANSIDE — About 600 volunteers pitched in to clean up Oceanside beaches and creeks during California Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 15. 

A whopping 70,000 volunteers are expected to have helped on the cleanup day statewide.

California Coastal Cleanup Day has been held annually for 28 years.

Local creek cleanups were added to the day’s efforts 12 years ago.

At Oceanside Pier and Buccaneer Beach, volunteers picked up small pieces of trash and cigarette butts that city cleanup crews missed.

“I’ve come out for every Coastal Cleanup for more than 10 years,” Lisa Birney of Oceanside said. “I really like coming to Oceanside beaches. I don’t want to see cigarette butts or smell them.”

Along creek sites on Lake Boulevard, Marron Road and Plaza Drive, volunteers found larger trash items to pick up.

“There is always lots of larger debris in that section,” Cynthia Mallett, city environmental specialist, said. “It comes from homeless encampments and freeway litterbugs.”

The cleanup day makes a big dent in the trash left behind by summer litterbugs and beach goers. About 500 pounds of trash is removed in one day from Oceanside waterways and beaches.

The day also raises awareness about the importance of keeping the environment clean. Parents said it is a great way to teach their children to take care of local beaches and waterways.

Adam Landry, of San Marcos, helped in the beach cleanup with his son Jordan, 11, and daughter Olivia, 8.

“It’s good for them,” Landry said. “They’re seeing how much trash there really is.”

Volunteers were invited to tally the types of trash they picked up for scientific record. The tally helps determine how much trash is generated by people and cargo ships and helps focus future cleanup efforts.

The San Luis Rey River Cleanup is planned for Nov. 3.

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